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Generic name: donepezil 
Name of the brand: Aricept, Aricept ODT
Drug class: Cholinesterase inhibitors

What is Donepezil?


Donepezil increases the functionality of nerve cells within the brain. It does this by stopping the breakdown of a chemical known as Acetylcholine  People suffering from dementia typically are less able to absorb this substance which is crucial for cognitive processes that affect memory as well as thinking and reasoning.

This medication is used to treat moderate to mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Donepezil isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s. The condition can worsen as time passes, even for those who are taking donepezil.


Before you take this medication consult your physician that you suffer from heart rhythm disorders like “sick sinus syndrome” (slow heartbeats) as well as an overly large prostate, urinary problems, asthma, obstructive lung disease, or epilepsy-related seizure disorder.

If you require any type of procedure be sure to inform your surgeon beforehand that you’re taking Donepezil.

Donepezil may cause adverse effects that can affect your reaction or thinking. Be aware of this if you are driving or do any other activity which requires you to stay alert and alert.

Before you start taking this medicine, make sure to consult your doctor.

It is not recommended to make use of Donepezil in the event that you are allergic to donepezil, or any other medications. Consult your physician if suffering from an allergic reaction to medicine.

To ensure that Donepezil is appropriate for you, ask your physician if you are suffering from:

  • a heart rhythm disorder
  • an occurrence from stomach ulcers
  • an overly large prostate or urination issues;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • epilepsy or another seizure disorders;
  • difficulties swallowing;
  • asthma, chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD), or any other breathing disorders.

It is unclear if Donepezil can cause harm to an unborn baby. Inform your physician if you are expecting or plan to have a baby while taking Donepezil.

It’s not clear if donepezil gets into breast milk, or if it is harmful to nursing babies. Inform your doctor if are breastfeeding a baby.

how to take Donepezil?

You should take Donepezil exactly as prescribed to you. Follow all the instructions on the prescription label. Don’t take this medicine in smaller or larger quantities or for a longer time than the recommended time.

You can use Donepezil either with or without food.

Do not chew, crush or tear the normal tablet. Take it in whole.

To take the oral dissolving tablet (Donepezil ODT):

  • Place the tablet in its blister package till you’re ready to use it. Unzip the packaging and cut or peel the backing off of the tablet’s blister. Be careful not to press a tablet against the paper or you could cause damage to the tablet.
  • Make use of dry hands to take off the tablet from the packaging and then place it inside your mouth.
  • Don’t take the tablet in whole. Let it dissolve in your mouth and then stop chewing.
  • Take a sip several times as the tablet melts. When the tablet has completely disintegrated take a sip of water.

If you are in need of dental surgery or surgery inform the doctor ahead of time that you’re taking Donepezil. It is possible that you will need to stop taking the medication for a brief period of time.

It is not recommended to stop taking Donepezil without consulting your physician.

Keep at room temperature, far from heat and moisture.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Alzheimer’s Disease:

Initial dosage: 5 mg taken every day orally, at night prior to going to bed.

Moderate to mild Alzheimer’s disease:
Maintenance dosage: 10 mg orally daily, once per day, after the patient has received the first dosage of 5 mg twice per day for 4 to 6 weeks.

From moderately severe to very serious Alzheimer’s disease
Maintenance dosage: 23 mg orally daily, after patients have been taking 10 mg once per day for at least three months.

Comment: A higher dosage of 10 mg could be the same statistically significant therapeutic benefit as a five mg dose. The preferences of the doctor and patient must be taken into consideration.

Uses: To treat mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s disease.

what if I overdose?

You should take the dose missed as soon as you can remember. Do not take your missed dosage if it’s close to the time of your next dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

If you do not take your medication for more than seven days consecutively consult your physician prior to taking the medication once more.

If I consume too much?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact toll-free the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

The symptoms of an overdose can include extreme nausea vomiting, drooling blurred vision, sweating feeling lightheaded, a low heart rate, shallow breathing muscles, weakness in the muscles, and fainting. They can also experience seizures (convulsions).

What to be aware of?

This medication could impair your reactions or thinking. Be aware when driving or doing things that require you to be alert.

Donepezil side effects

Take immediate medical attention If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction or reaction symptoms include hives; trouble breathing and swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.

Stop taking Donepezil  and contact your doctor immediately if you suffer from:

  • severe or ongoing vomiting;
  • a euphoric feeling, similar to you’re passing out;
  • Heartbeats that are slow;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • Urination that is painful or difficult;
  • new or worsening breathing difficulties new or worsening breathing problems;
  • symptoms of stomach bleeding – severe stomach pain or heartburn bloody or tarry stool bleeding blood, coughing it up, or vomit that resembles coffee grounds.

Common side effects of Donepezil include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • muscle pain;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • Feeling exhausted.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all side effects. other side effects could be present. Contact your physician to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report any adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


What other drugs can have an effect on Donepezil?

Discuss with your physician the medicines you take as well as the ones you begin or stop taking in the course of treatment with Donepezil particularly:

  • The NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)–aspirin Ibuprofen, aspirin (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) as well as celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin and meloxicam and many others;

This list isn’t complete. Other medications can be incompatible with donepezil, such as medications that are prescribed and available over the counter as well as vitamins and herbal products. There are not all interactions included in this guideline for medication.

More details

Keep all medicines away from the reach of children. Do not give your medication to anyone else Use Donepezil only in the prescribed dosage.

Always consult your doctor to confirm that the information provided on this page is applicable to your particular situation.

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